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(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982: The Wished-For Self Image. David Milrod. Pp. 95-120.. Psychoanal Q., 55:367-367.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982: The Wished-For Self Image. David Milrod. Pp. 95-120.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:367-367

Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982: The Wished-For Self Image. David Milrod. Pp. 95-120.

The wished-for self image is distinguished from the ego ideal and the realistic self-representation. It develops after the differentiation of self and object, contains attributes of the object, and occurs after re-fusions are less available for defensive purposes. That is, it occurs after the (Kohutian) grandiose self and idealized self-objects can be attained through magical fusion with primary love objects. Early in life, there are multiple wished-for self images which coalesce and become a coherent image of the person that the child wishes to become. Milrod differentiates this self image from the ego ideal, which he sees as more related to ethical and moral values. He sees the self image as derivative of drive-related values, that is, of gratifications, possessions, strength, power, and beauty. These personal elements of an idol are less related to objects and behavior toward them than to more narcissistic, self-interested concerns. The failure to live up to the ego ideal results in guilt, whereas the failure to live up to the wished-for self image is shame, humiliation, and feelings of inferiority. Finally, identification and internalization are discussed in relation to the wished-for self image, and both normal and pathological vicissitudes are described.

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Article Citation

(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of Child. XXXVII, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 55:367-367

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